Veteran Indian politician Ram Vilas Paswan, a federal minister and an ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling coalition, drew his last breath on October 8. He was admitted to a hospital in New Delhi on September 11 after his health started deteriorating and underwent heart surgery on October 4.
He was cremated at 1.30 pm at the Janardan Ghat in Patna on October 10. People from different sections of the society attended the funeral. Many people from different parts of the state turn up in Patna to pay their last respect to the popular Dalit leader.
Meanwhile, his first wife Raj Kumari Devi also attended the last rites of her husband. Paswan got married to Raj Kumari Devi in the 1960s. In 2014, he disclosed that he had divorced her in 1981 after his Lok Sabha nomination papers were challenged. He had two daughters from his first wife.
“She arrived from Khagaria to Patna and paid tributes to Ram Vilas Ji at his SK Puri residence on Saturday morning. However, on seeing his body, she fainted after crying inconsolably,” a family member told Deccan Herald.
In 1983, he had married Reena Sharma, an air hostess and a Punjabi Hindu from Amritsar. They have a son and a daughter. His son Chirag Paswan is heading the LJP at present.
He was 74 and very ill for the last few days. The last rites were performed by Paswan’s son and political heir Chirag. It is said that Chirag fell unconscious after lighting the funeral pyre of his father, but he was saved from crashing on to the ground by his cousins who had been beside him, helping him perform the rituals.
“My father loved all his children (the two daughters from his first wife and the two children from his second wife) equally, and kept cordial relations with everyone. But Madam (Reena) was not keen to keep the family unified,” alleged Asha after being denied permission at the airport to pay tributes to her father.